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George's, Excelsior close in on Manning Cup quarter-final spots

By Sports Desk October 26, 2019
Jonathan Grant High's goalkeeper Jordan Taylor makes a save during their second-round first-leg fixture of the 2019 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup football competition against Excelsior High at the Stadium East field on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Jonathan Grant High's goalkeeper Jordan Taylor makes a save during their second-round first-leg fixture of the 2019 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup football competition against Excelsior High at the Stadium East field on Thursday, October 24, 2019. Marlon Reid

Last season’s beaten finalists St George’s College and Excelsior High secured the advantages following their second-round first-leg fixtures of the 2019 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup football competition at the Stadium East field on Thursday.

St George’s College, the number two ranked team, eked out a hard-fought 2-1 away victory over Mona High, the number 15 ranked side, in the first match of the doubleheader; while 10th ranked Excelsior High carved out a comfortable 3-0 home victory against seventh-ranked Jonathan Grant High in the second match.

Two other matches were scheduled for the day at Prison Oval in Spanish Town but inclement weather ruined the day.

The first match of the doubleheader between St Jago High and Charlie Smith High was called off with just 12 minutes played due to lightning strikes, while the second match between Jamaica College and Hydel High was called off without the players taking the field.

Over at the Stadium East field, 22-time champions St George’s College had to dig deep to break down a Mona High side that only qualified for the second round as one of two best third-place teams.

And the North Street giants had to come from behind for the victory after Dellneil Pinnock scored his second goal of the season to hand Mona High, the designated home team, a 19th-minute lead.

Jamone Shepherd got the equaliser for St George’s College in the 35th minute but that strike was pure luck as a shot rifled straight to goalkeeper Jabez Cleghorn took a bad bounce inches away from the custodian and lodged into the back of the net. It was only the second goal of the season for Shepherd.

Omni-present Nathaniel Campbell, the St George's College captain, found the winner in the 76th minute through a looping header that beat Cleghorn.

In the second game, Aseany Richard (71st minute), Jhevon Smith (74th minute) and Jahiem Flemmings, with his eighth goal of the season in time added on, handed six-time champions Excelsior High a big cushion over Jonathan Grant High heading into the return fixture.

It was the second day of second-round matches as on Wednesday top-seed and defending champions Kingston College (KC) and Wolmer's Boys secured first-leg victories.

KC defeated Vauxhall High 3-1 at the Stadium East field, while Wolmer's Boys edged St Catherine High 1-0 at Prison Oval in Spanish Town.

In other matches on that day,  third-seed St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), conceded their first goals of the season in a 2-2 draw with 14th-seed Eltham High at Prison Oval, while 13th-seed Holy Trinity High and fourth-seed Camperdown High battled to a 0-0 draw in their first leg tie at Stadium East.

The second round of the competition is comprised of 16 teams for eight match-ups. Teams will play home and away knockout games. The eight winners will advance to the Manning Cup quarter-finals and the eight losers to the Walker Cup knockout first round.

THURSDAY'S RESULTS
Mona 1 St George's College 2
Excelsior 3 Jonathan Grant 0

SATURDAY'S GAMES (RETURN LEGS)
Camperdown High vs Holy Trinity High  at Jamaica College - 1:00 pm
STATHS  vs Eltham High at Jamaica College - 3:00 pm
Jamaica College vs Hydel High at Stadium East - 2:00 pm  
Charlie Smith High vs St Jago High   at Stadium East - 4:00 pm
Wolmer’s Boys vs St Catherine High at Winchester Park - 1:00 pm
Kingston College  vs  Vauxhall High   at Winchester Park - 3:00 pm
Jonathan Grant High vs Excelsior High at Prison Oval - 1:00 pm
St George’s College vs Mona High at Prison Oval - 3:00 pm

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